An Unexpected Detour

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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:10 pm

She was normally so good at hiding things, so when he asked if the property was hers, she picked up on the flat tone immediately. It triggered a curiosity in her, was he hiding from something like her? Or was he just there because she was invading his space? She knew he lived next door, she'd noticed him moving in, a benefit of being on the welcoming committee. It gave her the perfect excuse for doing what she'd always done anyway, kept tabs on who was new. An early warning system perhaps for if she needed to take off again.

Shaking her head at the tangents her mind was wandering into, she sighed, then answered. No...this ain't my place. Nobody lives here now...the owner... swallowing past the lump in her throat, she tried again; ...used to know who lived here...he's gone now... Memories pressed in as Aimar's face flashed in her mind, then Tiffany's, reminding her of what brought her here.

Needing a change of subject, anything but loss, she finally stood up. Even with that, he still towered over her slight frame. Yer fields look like they is doin' well... It was then she noticed how studiously he was avoiding making eye contact. - Do I know him? Did my cousin send him? - Different scenarios, all bad were tumbling to the forefront. Her gaze on him sharpening, she tried to discern the reason for his actions.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:11 pm

Jerri wrote:Gone now, he nodded but it told him nothing more than he already knew, and whoever wished to know anyhow? He was fine as he was, or so he told himself. He was in uncharted territory as soon as she stopped speaking, the comment on his field was more than welcome to him. But he merely nodded in reply, looking into the direction of his corn and the fleeting glance in her direction a moment later took him by surprise, she was watching him.

The corner of his mouth twitched in what would have been a crooked smile if he'd cared to carry it through. Instead it appeared to weigh the person in front of him as if he was thinking an introduction would not be too grueling a task; his head tilted to the left slightly, he gave a short nod of acknowledgment, I am Jerri --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:11 pm

He didn't look rough enough to be one of her cousin's friends, but you never knew with Thomas. Sometimes he could fool even the most intelligent of men into believing his crap. And sometimes he could find something to hold over people, he was a master manipulator. Studying the man further, she sighed. - My Jah Ash, are you really that paranoid? Jumping at shadows now? You were kneeling in the ashes of a burned out cottage bawling your eyes out. Anyone would be curious, it doesn't mean he's after you! -

Flushing at the direction her thoughts were taking her, she tried to smile, but wasn't sure she pulled it off. I'm Aasha...got piggies 'cross the bridge there. She didn't know how to explain that she lived in Tiff's place, or even that Tiff's house was hers now, so she left it off. Glancing towards his house, she easily saw the shadow of the castle. Sighing deeply, she wondered exactly what he'd seen before he approached. He probably thought her an idiot if he'd witnessed even half her antics.

Deciding to pretend he saw nothing, she quickly continued; Got a fox 'round here somewheres...his name's Pillow. Did ya happen to see which way he went?
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:12 pm

Jerri wrote:His brow disappeared into the locks hanging over his forehead, She blushed at an introduction? He would have gotten past it if she hadn't looked past him to his house and sighed, this was confusing considering he'd thought --

Ermm -- No. I have not seen a fox here, he said finally and looked around, I am so quick to judge people, I knew I should not have looked at her.

But just in case he had judged her right, he pursed his lips and nodded slightly as he took a step back; it was time to leave. I will let you know if I see one. What else could he say? The company he had been subjected to had addled his thinking, now he was always careful of what people intended. He turned partially and gestured towards the road, I have to walk back to work --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:12 pm

She sighed again, not wanting to move, but knowing she couldn't stay in the ruins without looking even more like an idiot. Besides the fact that she'd decided at some point in her musings that Kerri was wrong. She was just as much family, had just as important a bond as Jasmyne. Maybe, just maybe she needed to be there to see Tiffany off. She had given Aasha so much more than she ever deserved, this was the least she could do to show love and respect, something she'd never gotten to say in life, but could show in death.

The peal of the bells ringing out in symphony with Jerri's obvious words of farewell had the girl feeling even more awkward. She was out of time, and would have to deal with her pain and confusion on her own, privately. This gentleman, though well meaning, wouldn't be the one to help her get through anything, nor would any other. She'd let too many get too close, only to be hurt in the process.

Bowing slightly, she murmured; Thank ya m'lord. I'm sure he'll turn up. I 'pose I'm headin' back to the castle. Straightening to her full stature, she took a deep breath and began to walk, quite forgetting the ashes on her clothing and face in her determination to do what was right.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:12 pm

Jerri wrote:Castle? he was surprised she wanted to go back when she had been so obviously upset when she left it, come to think of it, I did not see a fox follow you out of there so maybe -- he looked in the general direction of the Castle to emphasize the point but he was uncomfortable with the idea of her heading back there alone again so as she walked, he took the same road as her to ask, you are certain that it is -- err -- safe? -- or maybe she was so upset she did not care for her safety --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:13 pm

He didn' go in wit' me. We ain't been back to town long an' he was restless...sos I let him roam. He always comes back 'round. She was still walking, already the shadows of the castle walls were blocking the sun. It seemed apt, the darkness matched her spirits as she thought upon what had befallen her family.

Her brow furrowed when Jerri mentioned safety, she was more apt for danger outside those walls than within, unless the guards had decided she was no longer welcome with Tiff gone. Safe? Don' thin' nobody wants to hurt me there...jus'...maybe mad cuz I didn' stay... A deep sigh, a lowered head, then she mumbled; ...my...fam'ly...they tole me she was d..dead... The catch in her voice betrayed her pain. Biting her lip hard, she paused, then squared her shoulders and forced herself forward.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:14 pm

It was only when she was almost to the castle doors that she thought of Ellie, she'd be charged with telling the girl what happened to her mistress, no doubt after that she'd be living alone once more. As daunting a task that it would prove to be, she couldn't stop, not now...or she'd never continue.

She made it inside just in time to hear Jasmyne speak. Guilt washed over as she heard the depth of pain in the woman's voice. She could have been here, for Tiffany's sister if not for herself, but even now she hid in the shadows and watched her stride out. It was after she passed that she wondered why Jas asked them to look after her, Tiff had done the same when she departed - ...did she need looking after that much? She'd taken care of herself for years, much longer than she'd been in Shrews...maybe this had to do with the slip of paper she'd seen when with Red...maybe he had convinced them all she was dangerous... -

The pain of his possible betrayal was nothing compared to this loss though, she quite forgot Jerri's presence, not even checking to see if he followed her in as her hesitant steps brought her to the back of the crowd. Tears were flowing once more, mixing with soot to leave wet gray streaks. Her lower lip was firmly between her teeth, her hands clenched at her sides as the Cardinal continued.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:14 pm

Anonymoose wrote:Anonymoose listened to Father Dainsleif and Jasmyne, and tried to hold a stoic look on her face, but when Jasmyne gave her a hug, she could not stop the tears from running down her face.

She removed a handkerchief from her satchel and dabbed at her eyes, trying not to look at anyone else lest she burst into tears again.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:14 pm

Jasmyne wrote:Seeing Aasha in the shadows as she walked out of the castle, she walked by but didnt enter her shadow area as she respected her space but spoke lightly.

Aasha, we all mourn differently but im glad you came by, i need to head out of town for awhile, i've always been this way, it helps me collect my thoughts. Heero and i are going to get wed in another town nearby as ive asked Leana to precede over the matrimony, then we'll head north

You've grown so much since when we first met and im proud to call you family, so dont worry i'll be back to visit before you know it

Jas headed out of the castle and down the path to Heero and Her horse Mischief to head out of town before anyone realized they left so quickly
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:15 pm

Jerri wrote:The moment of being informed of someone's death, even a stranger's, was never the moment to make a quiet exit, he felt that more than anything else and so Jerri quietly slowed his pace to give the grieving young woman some privacy but he did not change his path. The guards were perhaps not under orders to stop even strangers from joining the quiet ceremony that was taking place on the grounds because he certainly was not hindered in his progress as he made his way in after Aasha.

She found a quiet shady place and he stopped yet farther in respect as he listened to the exchanges and bowed his head. He could exit the premises before the others quietly after a solemn prayer for the soul laid to rest but there are worse things in life than death, he contemplated, like life itself for some --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:15 pm

She had thought Jasmyne missed her entrance, but the woman's pause to speak showed her differently. Unable to speak past the lump in her throat, she watched Jas walk away even before the ceremony was concluded. To her, Jasmyne was lucky, she still had Heero...it was more than Aasha had...though after losing both Aimar and Tiffany, the girl was starting to think being alone was better. She couldn't be hurt if she didn't form attachments, keeping everyone at a distance was safer.

Watching her leave had brought Jerri into view, causing color to rise again. She was falling apart in front of a relative stranger, but couldn't find the strength to gain control of her emotions. Refusing to meet his eyes, she turned back towards the front, hoping he wouldn't impede her progress when this concluded. The urge to confront Kerri had passed, right now she just wanted to get through this and go. A small part of her hoped Tiff would know she was here, would appreciate the effort...would feel even where she was now how dearly Aasha had loved her for who she was, and everything she'd offered so easily.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:15 pm

Papajay wrote:Jay stood in the back, out of sight, and just within earshot of the memorial. Of course he had heard, even before the whispers of town reached his ears, a friend had told him one night of her passing.

The news had turned him into a recluse, he neglected his fields, his friends, his responsibilities, and had turned to the bottle for comfort. In the constant drunken, then hungover times, he turned to memories of doing that very same thing with Tiff, which made it even harder to get past it.

He stood, far in the back, under the protection of a cloak, his face shielded by a hood. He had always been shy, and embarrassed by his feelings for her, and found solace in the hood, so he could weep openly, and none would see his tears. He laughed bitterly through his tears, she would surely poke fun at him for being this way, as she had on many occasions. Under his cloak, he held a single red rose, preserved only by ice in the river near his home, and a single letter he wrote long ago. The letter exposed his true feelings, and a desire for her to come home. He'd hoped many times the she would visit home just once so he could just tell her.

He never sent the letter, and today, finally, when everyone went their ways, he would correct that mistake.

Jay stifled back a cry, "I'm sorry Tiff..." and waited for the end of the memorial.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:16 pm

Harlan wrote:Harlan stood next to Kerri as the ceremony began, running through his mind were memories of Tiffanyanne. He recalled how so much around town used to revolve around her. Then there were her playful slaps upside his head, usually for offhanded comments and such..so they were well deserved. He would miss those most. He had known her for so long Harlan just couldn't imagine her not being around anymore.

As Kerri began to sob, Harlan put his arm around her and drew her closer, he nearly lost control of his emotions himself, but managed to reign them in. Someone needed to remain strong, to be the shoulder to cry on.

He heard those around him, each mourning in their own way, and he closed his eyes in silent prayer as Father Dainsleif blessed the ground around the memorial.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:16 pm

Tuesday wrote:Tuesday hoped her late arrival would not be too great a distraction from the solemnity of the ceremony at hand, but it could not be helped; her travel arrangements were not expedient and she'd had to wait in Stafford for the hired wain. Drawn by two immense black horses, the closed, covered wagon pulled up at last on the cobbles at the entrance to Shrewsbury Castle. An unliveried footman helped her from the cab, and she slipped into the back rows of the gathering, trying to not disturb or attract notice.

For once in her life, Tuesday was dressed appropriately for her station, although the finely made black mourning gown did nothing to hide that she had grown even more drawn and thin. She'd been slim to begin with, but now bordered on emaciated; the deep rings under her eyes emphasized the shape of her skull, showing through her sallow skin. Her hair had not been dressed, and her long queue was missing; her black hair hung lank and flat to collar length, where it had been roughly cut. She had not slept, or eaten, for days and it showed.

The solemn blessings Dainslief performed were touching, and her mind raced with memories of her friend. Tiff had been so staunch and supportive; her loss was a blow Tuesday would never recover from. But she could not cry. Not yet, at least. She had to make it all the way home first. She glanced over her shoulder at the waiting hearse, and then back to the plaque at the front of the gathering.


I will have to come back... Tuesday thought to herself. Tiff was too vibrant and fun and I am not in a state to celebrate that as it should be. She deserves a wake, not a funeral....
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:17 pm

Jerri wrote:He was obviously an intruder upon the grief of these people and by the looks of things, the loss was huge, Or so people like to show -- he thought and then immediately checked himself, not all are alike - why am I so quick to doubt intentions?

There was a pained look on his face as he turned to leave the Castle premises but the pain was not for the stranger being mourned. He mourned the loss of his own innocence, I used to trust -- the lump in his throat, the slight moisture in the eye was nothing anyone would notice, he was nobody here - he was unimportant in a setting where they were mourning someone obviously very important to them.

He had no will to go back to work, it was time to find solitude - time to think again. The fence was calling --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:17 pm

She was vaguely aware of Jerri leaving, and the presence of others around her, but was too lost in her own memories and pain to register who. The priest was almost done, it was time to depart before she got caught up in a confrontation that was most unworthy of the one they were paying homage to.

Turning to go, she noticed another shadowed figure in the back. The form quite familiar, she closed her eyes and dropped her chin, knowing his was a pain she knew too well. Perhaps they could comfort each other...perhaps not, it might be safer to keep her distance and harden her heart...keep everyone out now...

Skirting past the few who'd gathered in the back, she exited the castle and headed towards her 'home', the emptiness there reflecting her well.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:19 pm

Jasmyne wrote:It was evident she wasnt home or didnt want to open the door, so jas scribbled on a note then went to the sideyard and pulled up a sapling, she widdled away at it to have a fine sharp point, then went back to the door

Once at the door, she unveiled the note and held it fast to the door, with her other hand she thrust the makeshift arrow into the door attaching the note

Dear Aasha,
Please come back to the castle, though it may not seem like it, your still my little sister and i need you there with me
Although our lives take different paths, we are still a family
Please come back

Jas
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:19 pm

Pillow found her almost as soon as she was outside the walls of the castle. He'd obviously been sniffing around and found something interesting, there was some sort of goo on his nose to prove it. Sensing his mistress's mood, he walked calmly beside her rather than running circles as usual. It was a somber journey, home held no meaning like it had before, though they made it there soon enough.

The note fluttered as the wind picked up, drawing Aasha's eyes along with a soft sigh. Plucking the arrow from the door, she carefully removed the note and slowly scanned its contents as she entered.

I went back...as ya saw...but ain't a fittin' sis to you... The scene from Holywell replayed, painful in its intensity as she mumbled ...ain't even a fittin' friend...

She could hear nothing, not even Ellie puttering around in the kitchen. She had the house to herself. - Ellie probably knew before you did...if she's smart, she won't be back either...who wants to work for you? -

Her eyes closed again for a brief second before she walked upstairs and to her room, shutting the door and the rest of the world out, except for Pillow. Burrowing her head into his soft fur, she cried herself to sleep.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:20 pm

Harlan wrote:Finding the occasional respite from studying, his mayoral duties, and socializing in the tavern, Harlan had been working on a sword for a friend and now it was finished. Wiping it with a clean rag and polishing off any smudges, he raised it to the light and looked down its length. Straight and true. This was one was slightly shorter than the usual to reduce the weight. It was for Aasha and as slight at she was, wielding this weight would even be a challenge to get used to.

Summoning a messenger, Harlan sent her a note that it was ready.


Aasha,

Your sword is completed and ready to pick up.

See you at your earliest convenience.

Lord Harlan Bradley

Sending the messenger off to Aasha's residence with payment for his duties, Harlan re-entered his forge and set about organizing for his next project.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:21 pm

She'd done lots of thinking since Tiffany's memorial, and had decided nothing. It was frustrating, not knowing which way to turn, spoiling for a fight yet having no energy to waste on one. The only thing she knew for sure were two people, each special in her life were gone. Neither death was explained, neither and/or both could have to do with her past chasing after her. She knew, deep in her heart, that she was trouble for anyone who came into contact with her...she just didn't know if that trouble lead to their deaths.

Her line of thought did lead her to conclude that she needed to be better able to defend herself. If her cousin, or anyone from her past came looking, she wasn't going to put someone else in danger, she'd deal with it herself. Unfortunately, she'd been kicked around so often that she'd only learned how to block pain, and minimize the damage to herself. She could hunt, but had never gone after big game...even if she had, big game didn't have the intelligence and cunning man did, she'd need more than agility, speed and a dagger against someone so much bigger and stronger than herself.

It was with this in mind she'd commissioned Harlan to make her a sword. Something she'd never attempted to lift, let alone use, but something that might come in handy if she was caught by surprise. Pleased when the lad delivered the note, she made haste to Harlan's shop, hoping she might talk him into a few lessons as well.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:23 pm

Pillow's excitement was infectious, stifling the nerves that were overtaking Aasha. She'd not seen Kerri much since the memorial, only in the taverns where there were enough others to act as a buffer, keeping discussions light. But as tight as Kerri and Harlan were, there was a distinct possibility she might see the lady at his shop. She wasn't sure if he knew what had been said, not that it mattered. He'd not said anything in their brief meetings either, and hadn't questioned her request when she'd made it.

The walk wasn't long, she took a steadying breath then knocked firmly on the door of the forge to announce her presence, then peered around to see if he was busy. It's Aasha...am I int'ruptin' somethin'? Gots yer message...
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